Slow start costs Burrell in PIAA Class 2A wrestling first round

Thursday, February 10, 2022 | 9:08 PM

HERSHEY — In tightly contested wrestling matches, it’s important to win the toss-up matches.

Burrell came up short in three of those matches during the first round of the PIAA Class 2A team championship Thursday and dropped a 37-24 decision to District 3 champion Bishop McDevitt at the Giant Center.

The Bucs drop into the consolation round and will face District 10 runner-up Corry, which fell to District 11 power Notre Dame-Green Pond.

Bishop McDevitt, located near Harrisburg, won the first seven bouts and built a 28-0 lead. A pin by Tillman Artell at 126 clinched the match.

But the match turned when the Bucs dropped close matches at 172, 189 and 215 pounds.

“We started at 145 and we needed to win one match between there and heavyweight, and we didn’t,” Burrell coach Josh Shields said. “We had some seniors there, and we needed them to step up. We lost some close matches. If we win one of those matches, we win the meet.”

Jacob Gilgoil started things for Bishop McDevitt by defeating Shawn Szymanski, 8-3, at 145.

Bishop McDevitt’s Lucas Lawler (172) was able to hold on for a 10-8 win against Damian Barr. Bryce Enders (189) edged Cole Clark, 3-1, and Kade Werner (215) won 8-5 against Luke Boylan.

Burrell, which saw its 15-year reign as WPIAL champion end Feb. 5 with a loss in the finals to Quaker Valley, had a strong finish by winning five of the final six bouts.

That run included pins by Niko Ferra (132) and Isaac Lacinski (138), forfeits to Cooper Hornack (120) and Lucas Gratzmiller (106) and a 4-3 win by Calio Zanella (113).

“It played out exactly how I figured it would, and we didn’t win any of those matches,” Shields said. “It’s a private school. The transfers they get in are really good, and the rest of their team is a bunch of holes.

“We knew we’d get a forfeit at 106, and we knew 113 would be a good match, and we knew we’d get pins at 120, 132 and 138.”

Now that the team falls into the consolation round, Shields said he’s eager to see how it responds.

“This team has really accomplished a lot this season, all things considering,” Shields said. “I’m not going to make excuses. We’re a better team now than we were at the beginning of the year. So the expectations are higher. We’ll see how they do on Friday.”

This is Burrell’s 19th appearance in the state tournament. The Bucs finished third in 2021 and were champions in 2008. Their record in the state tournament is 32-24.

They will try to improve that record Friday.

Bishop McDevitt 34, Burrell 27

106: Lucas Gratzmiller (B) won by forfeit.

113: Calio Zanella (B) d. Michael Beutler, 4-3.

120: Cooper Hornack (B) won by forfeit.

126: Tillman Artell (McD) p. Travis Newell, 5:49.

132: Niko Ferra (B) p. Hunter Wagner, 1:19.

138: Isaac Lacinski (B) p. Christopher Spizzieri, 1:50.

*145: Jakob Gilgoil (McD) d. Shawn Szymanski, 8-3.

152: Andrew Christie (McD) won by forfeit.

160: Anthony Glessner (McD) m.d. Nico Zanella, 11-1.

172: Lucas Lawler (McD) d. Damian Barr, 10-8.

189: Bryce Enders (McD) d. Cole Clark, 3-1.

215: Kade Werner (McD) d. Luke Boylan, 8-5.

285: Riley Robell (McD) won by forfeit.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at


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